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Wednesday, 26 June 1996
Page: 2284


Senator BOB COLLINS(5.30 p.m.) —I move:

11.   Schedule 1, after item 43, page 21 (after line 8), insert:

43A At the end of section 141

Add:

(6)   A report to the minister under subsection (3) in respect of the first Regional Council elections conducted after 1 July 1996 must include an examination of ways in which the representation of distinct community groups on Regional Councils could be accommodated.

This provision was discussed, I think, at some length last Friday during the committee hearing. It requires section 141, which deals with the review process, to have a look at a more intelligent way of improving regional council representation. As I have said in a number of contributions to the debate so far, I do not think that at the end of the day we are far removed in respect of getting agreement on these matters.

Having said that, I am persuaded by individual representations I have had, and indeed evidence that was given to our committee last Friday, that there are still around the edges some problems in respect of the Realpolitik on the ground in these regions, which, if they are sensibly addressed, will lead to a much better organisation for ATSIC at the end of the day. This gives effect to that desire to actually have this requirement written into the act. Indeed, from memory, I can recall that Senator Chamarette—maybe it was Senator Kernot—addressed this same issue last Friday.